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Migrating Private Folders

Every software tool for migrating from Lotus Notes to Exchange/Office 365 that I have looked at makes the statement that you can't migrate Private Folders. Of course they are correct since they are stored on the local drive. For some users who have spent a great deal of time organising their folders and they are not happy to loose that structure. So what can we do to help them.

I take advantage of the fact that a Notes document can be in several folders at the same time. In the screen shot below you can see that the "Registration Confirmation . . ." email is available in four folders. There is only copy of the email but four pointers to the same document. If a user deletes it while in the Private folder it disappears from the other folders as well. If we just want to remove it from one folder and not the other we will use the Remove from Folder button.


Since I never use Private Folders I had to figure out how identify if users have Private Folders. The following screen shots are taken from the StdR8Mail template. Your mileage may vary.

My Pre-Migration Report identifies a lot of identify a lot of potential challenges I'm going to add the code to count the number of private views. See the bottom of this page for a link to my Pre-Migration Report post.

So I created a Public and Private folder. The Private folder had the expand symbol even though there are no sub-folders. I wish they had used a different symbol like a key. Oh well, it is what it is.


When you do a Move to Folder it is pretty easy to tell. Yellow folder being public and the private folder is white.


Next step is to send the user an email with an embedded button. I use Stationary to make it easy to send to several users. Needless to say you have to send this button before you forward their mail file to Exchange/ Office 365. If you send the button to an Exchange mailbox there will be a blank spot where the button was.Exchange doesn't know how to handle active mail.


When the end-user clicks the button. The code grabs the array of views/folders and deals with each one at a time. First we determine if is a folder or a view and then if it is a private view, if not it moves to the next view/folder. This process is very quick.

If it is a folder and it is private then we get the count of documents. If the count is zero we delete the folder. Otherwise we create a new public folder and copy all of the items to the new folder. This can take a very long time if there are lots of documents in the folder. We do not copy the documents we copy the pointers to the documents. Now we delete the old private folder and rename the new public folder with the old folder's name. All done.

My testing was done with a basic mail file with only two Folders added. There were 78 views/folders standard in a mail file with no user created folders. For someone with lots of folders this could take a while. So we warn them. The email with the button should suggest that they run the button before going to lunch or to a meeting.


I provide a running progress in the status bar which moves quite quickly


UNTIL it starts converting and then I let the user know which Folder is being converted.


When done this is the message that I give them.


After we reopen the mail file we find that we lost the expand symbol which used to indicate that it was Private




Send me an email to request the code.
Request Code to Convert Private Folders






Author's Background
I am a Notes/Consultant with twenty-seven years of experience (almost exclusively with Lotus Notes / Domino). My experience with Notes began when I worked as a Senior Computer Consultant for Price Waterhouse. In 1993, I went to work for Lotus Development Corporation as a Senior Notes / Domino Instructor. I started teaching Application Development and System Administration with Version 3. Helped to develop the course materials for Version 4.x and Release 5.x When LotusScript, Javascript and Java were added to Notes/Domino I started teaching these programming languages.

In 1995, IBM acquired Lotus. For several years we were left alone and the culture did not change. It was a lot of fun to work for Lotus. In 1999 the handwriting was on the wall and I decided it was time for me to leave. So I established V&M to do Lotus Notes/Domino Application Development, System Administration and Training. I've been at it ever since. The life of the consultant is constantly changing. It has given me the chance to travel across Canada and the United States, Scotland, England, Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados and Hawaii. No travel to the Far East yet. Anyone?

For the last seven years I have been helping companies move their data from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft platform.

Some thoughts on Notes to Exchange Migrations
Migrating from Lotus Notes to Microsoft - Very easy and very hard
Pre- Migration Report that I use
Encrypted Mail Choices
Export a Notes View to CSV
Mail Migrations Using the Cloud
Mail Migrations - Some Lessons Learned
Speeding Some Migrations
Redirecting Mail Migration Traffic
One post migration story
One Approach to Mail Rules
Remove Encryption Button
Microsoft's "Secret" Mail Migration Tool
NME Migrations from a secondary Domino Directory
How to remove encryption from a Notes database
NME and Secondary Address Book
Multi File Selector for Binary Tree CMTe
Problem Mail Files for NME (Notes Migrator for Exchange)
Using a Staging Server for Notes to Exchange migrations
SmartCloud to Office 365
Notes2SharePoint Part 1
Migrating Private Folders
Different roles in an email migrations
What to do with Profile Docs during a Migration

If you would like to see my resume
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Copyright 1999-2017, John Vanderhoff. All rights reserved. This document is NOT in the public domain and remains the property of John Vanderhoff. Distribution or modification of this document without the knowledge, review and express permission of John Vanderhoff is strictly prohibited.